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19 May 2014 

Helping Pipes Stay Warm During the Winter

There were many things that we had to adjust to
when we moved to the west.  After
figuring things out for the summer months, we thought it would be smooth
sailing for the winter months; turns out we were wrong.  It was our first winter since we had moved
and it just so happened that it was one of the coldest winters that the city
had in many years.  Since it hadn’t been
that cold in the past, there wasn’t anything in place with the plumbing to
prevent the pipes from being frozen. 

One morning I got up to get ready for work and
take a shower and the water wouldn’t turn on! 
I checked the other faucets in the bathroom to see if they were working
and none of them were turning on.  Once I
had determined that the water wasn’t working at all in the home, I went to the
basement to see if I could figure anything out. 
I found one of the main lines and figured out that it was frozen solid.  Back then we had to get some space heaters and
set them up to thaw out the pipes.  After
a day we started to get a trickle of water and thankfully none of the pipes
were cracked from being frozen.

From that winter, we learned our lesson.  We found out that there are ways of
preventing frozen pipes by a simple method. 
At the local supply house, we were told about pipe insulation.  There are different types of insulation, made
from different materials.  The first kind
that we bought was a fiberglass insulation that came in 25 foot rolls and was
wrapped diagonally around the exposed pipes, then taped to hold it in place.  It worked well for many years, but it started
to get old and some parts were falling off of the pipe.


Self-Stick Foam Insulation

We went to the supply house again and asked what other
options were available.  The worker
showed us two different kinds of insulation; foam and rubber.  Each came in 6 foot lengths and are able to
slide right over the pipe.  The inside of
the insulation comes in different diameters so it can fit copper tube size
(CTS) pipe or iron pipe size (IPS).  Some
tubing is solid and needs to be slid on the pipe as it is being installed.  Other pipe has slits in it so that it can be
cut open with a razor knife and then slid onto existing pipe in the home.  This could create a problem as the pipe
insulation may slip off.  For this
reason, there is foam insulation with “self stick” technology.  There is an adhesive on the pipe that will
help it stick together once a protective plastic sheet is removed from it.  This makes it possible to install the insulation
on existing pipe and then having the ability to seal it in place, keeping the
pipes warm.  To see some comparisons of
different products, visit 

WSmith · 61 views · Leave a comment